President Barack Obama admits to getting ‘kinda choked up’ while presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ellen DeGeneres.
From a podium at the White House, Obama explained that the awards are given to Americans who have “lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us toward progress.”
“It’s easy to forget now just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages 20 years ago.”
Obama continued, “But it’s like Ellen says, “We all want a tortilla chip that can support the weight of guacamole.” Which really makes no sense to me. But I thought would break the mood because I was getting kind of choked up. And she did pay a price. We don’t remember this. I hadn’t remembered it. She did, for a pretty long stretch of time. Even in Hollywood. And yet, today, every day, in every way, Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together. Inspires us to be better. One joke, one dance at a time.
Other recipients included Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross.